tv CNN Newsroom CNN October 19, 2014 2:00pm-3:01pm PDT
>> i'm in the newsroom in new york and we begin with the u.s. military mobilizing to join america's fight against the ebola virus. the pentagon is forming a 30 person quick strike team designed to treat ebola patients anywhere in the united states. the group will comprise doctors, nurses and others trained in the use of protective equipment. this comes as a cruise ship returned to point with a passenger linked to the only person in the united states to die from the disease. that passenger has now tested negative for ebola.
she's at the white house and in dallas. if i could begin with this news from the pentagon, the quick strike team could be deployed anywhere in the country. is the team ready to go? what do we know about who will be on the team? >> this team is just forming right now. a little bit of time. 30 days before being on point. the team is comprised of five doctors, 20 nurses and more. go anywhere in the united states where there is an ebola case.
>> may on the good side soon be cleared. what can you tell us? >> that's right. we spoke with ralph rawlings. there is a group whose monitoring period will come to an end tonight. so, if you do a little bit of math. and then there is a third group of people he couldn't tell me exactly how many people were in this group. this group is being monitored for contact they had with nurses.
>> you can imagine this is a stressful time. thanks to the generosity of several people in the community. >> you make a good point. circles is that they all come out of it. we have some ways to go. erin, president obama held this unusual saturday night meeting with his top advisors but, oddly enough, the ebola czar was not
there. what's the white house's explanation for that? >> jim, simply that ron has not yet started. they named him in this coordination on friday. and so he had not has his first day on the job he was here at the white house. that would point out that the white house had back to back meetings. and other very senior. not only on the contact tracing that is going on in the aftermath in the cases in dallas but what state and local agencies need and what the federal government can do to help, jim. >> the disease certainly has the attention of the u.s. government
now. the next few days sound like they will be critical. >> this is a critical weekend. if we don't see new patients this weekend, then we will see the remainder of those 48 that we were tasked with following come off of the list. we will see the three young men come off of the list. we will be less likely to see more cases. we're right in the middle of the hot zone right now.
>> right in the middle of the hot zone. a dallas morning news columnist. a radio show kiam. mark, i wonder if you could describe the public mood there in dallas the past few weeks. he has very much been in the attention of the country as the epicenter of the kounry of the brout break of the disease here. it has been a narrative that has gone from initial shock, here we are at ground zero. and then there was a little bit of there was the shameful moment saying that the nurse must have screwed up because surely the protocols were not to blame and then we learned the protocols were filled with flaws. things are getting better. hard to imagine them getting worse.
the public officials who have been so filled with humor. some of that has been replaced with well timed humility. we have every prayer for amber and nina. they are no longer here. hoping this good hospital filled with good people can live down that very bad day when they let mr. duncan out with a little pat on the shoulder. >> that's the advantage that they have, no questions in terms of. clearly there were holes. do you see now that the holes are being filled based on --
jim, i think we're all learning together. local officials are learning and we all are. we all know that it's hard to get ebola, and it's hard to get struck by light lightning under a tree during a rainstorm, too, but that doesn't mean that you do it. i think that it is getting better. there is a sense that we are all sort of on a learning curve together. >> mark, stay right there. we will come back to discuss more of the questions and issues with ebola. we will hear from you just after the next break. we want to turn to the end of a very sad search and possible closure. authorities looking for hannah
graham found human remains yesterday. we reported it here on cnn first eight miles from where that university of virginia student was last seen. her parents have been told the news but forensic tests are still being conducted to confirm the identification of the body. we go now to jean in charlottesville. jean, is there any indication when the remains will be identified? i think also what else they found at the. >> number one to determine the identity.
i's an active crime scene investigation. we were told that 25 personnel were in the area. my photographer actually saw a rake being used down there. when you have a crime scene that can be skeletal remains. we are talking about any type of evidence that are carried away and must be found. and a local law enforcement official did tell a local television station in an interview that the remains when they were found in this desolate area were skeletalized. there was no flesh or hair and no sign of blunt force trauma to the bones. that is for an official to determine, not the medical examiner's office. as we were going around the
community here in the county, we went upon a residential area and we found the home that jesse matthew and his mother used to live in. i think we have a map to show everybody. it is four miles he and his mother lived there for about six or eight years. 2008 is about the last time they remembered them there. they said that and jesse would always wave and say hello to everybody. >> it's the saddest of stories and there are a lot of cases in that area.
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>> do we want somebody with a background in infectious diseases, it would seem that. >> let me ask you this question. as you know, we have a surgeon general in the country. he can't get that nominee confirmed. if congress confirmed, wouldn't that job be filled? wouldn't you have the lead for the country's fight against ebola? >> actually in terms of
coordinating these government agencie agencies. >> as i mentioned, especially in west africa where we have a real problem with the world health organization stepping this thing up and doing it right. and that has to be addressed immediately. this czar will have that responsibility as well. >> let me ask that question again in a different way.
washington is partisan to say the least. there are a lot of agencies overlapping agencies whether we're talking about dhs or terror threats. you have got the department of hhs and a surgeon general post and now a drug czar. now we're adding another level of decision making. >> i think at the end of the day the problem is you have to have one individual who is calling the shots, making the decisions and has the ability to cut through all of these different government agencies and not just here in the united states but as i indicated the world health organization. now the british are taking the lead. we in the united states and liberia, all of this has to be
coordinated as well. and frankly we're a little disappointed in this point. that needs to be ramped up quicy. so you need -- you need that coordination to say nothing to the fact that you have got to also address these issues that i have raised. visas are still being issued in liberia, in syria leon. that makes no sense right now. what happened? we put a stay. we put a hold on that. visas weren't issued until we got the situation under control. that's what should be happened right now. but until somebody steps into this post and says okay, i'm going to lead. here are the instructions to all the government agencies, apparently on their own they're not making the right decisions. >> you want embassies to stop issuing visas, but do you also
favor a travel ban? do you think that's necessary today? >> well, i think effectively, what i have suggested will solve that problem because what it will mean is a travel ban for those traveling for tourism or whatever purpose from those three countries. it will still allow health workers to travel in and travel out so i think in terms of, you know, meeting the need of containment which should be our number one goal here, contain this disease, the answer there is to do what we have done in the past in 2009. that is to take a, push the pause here in terms of writing those visas every day and let us get a better control on getting in place the ways in which we
will be able to test. we don't have the types of tests like a blood test ready yet where you can find out okay, this is someone carrying or this one is someone who is not. until all of that is dpoen, i think you have got to put a hold on those. >> it seems like a country learning as it's doing. thank you very much for joining us and taking the time. >> a vaccine would be a silver bullet, but that is a long way off. you will see a lab that is trying to protect all of us once and for all. how long will this take? that's after this. i make a lot of purchases for my business. and i get a lot in return with ink plus from chase. like 70,000 bonus points when i spent $5,000 in the first 3 months after i opened my account. and i earn 5 times the rewards on internet, phone services and at office supply stores. with ink plus i can choose how to redeem my points.
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it's one of two ebola vaccines now being tested on humans. >> can this stop the outbreak? >> it depends on how fast we can get this particular product through the path way so that it can be used in trials. >> ek perts say when ebola gets into the body it works too fast for the immune system to be able to combat it. this speeds up the ability to fight ebola? >> could it prevent and treat? >> the majority of studies we are looking at are post exposure. we also did some studies that
looked at preexposure so we were given the fax -- they were given the vaccine and then exposed. both were good results and so we are cautiously optimistic. >> but will it work in humans? >> to be very realistic, most medicines and vaccines that look great in animals don't pan out in the long run. >> how soon could these vaccines be ready? they are moving through the testing paces here as fast as possible but he and other
experts say under the best of circumstances, the vaccine being tested here and elsewhere may not be ready for public use for several months. they simply have to make sure the vaccines are safe. cnn, silver spring, maryland. >> so what if there was a virus that had infected hundreds of people in the country, one that seems most dangerous for children, even deadly. we would all be very scared. there is a virus like that. it is not named ebola. we will talk about it right after this. >> now a sneak peek to parts unknown which is premiering tonight at 9:00 eastern. >> this is a traditional dish that is seldom made these days because of the complexity and time needed to do it right. a fish stock is made from a fish from the perfume river. pineapples, onion, chilies, shallots and corian der. a salad of quickly cooked
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panic. are america's fears today reasonable? breathing problems with asthma. cnn medical analyst, doctor, when you look at this, particularly the case of enterovirus, which i have grot great concern about, what's the bigger threat to america right now? >> i think it's much more reasonable to worry about enterovirus in terms of catching the disease. the demonstration that cdc is not prepared lead to effects that have nothing to do with us getting sick. your pension will be worth less than a few days ago if you have
invested in airplane stocks. the worry is not -- it's a tiny number of people getting infected, if any. entero enterovirus is that we don't know that much about it. for some reason this outbreak has really spread like wild fire across the majority of the states. >> it has polio type qualities. they have numbness in their limbs which may or may not need to be relieved. >> this seems to be an association. so the kind of muscle weakness that you would see with some kids with polio. and polio is also an enterovirus. the thing to say about that is there is an association with paralysis in that we found kids with muscle weakness can also have this virus.
it may just be that if you infect lots of kids it may be that it's a co-incidence. it is yet another example of why we should be researching in viruss and more. >> you and i were talking about in the break when we speak about ebola, one of the issues was the slowness of the response. that was a problem over there. it's an air problem. is that changing now? has it been corrected? are we still behind the ball. >> the disease is spreading in terms of numbers so it's covering a larger area and there are more people infected. the who has set out 60 days to respond. we are barely getting the first response now. in terms of the amount of money that has been pledged, the u.n.
has asked for a billion. about half of that is pledged and a fraction of that. >> 100,0$100,000 of a billion h been delivered. that is just one sign. >> don't not get on a plane or a bus or not go to your local ll restaurant or super market. if they are the people who ran the flag up mons ago and said we have to be concerned about this. >> it seems that people are finally listening. we will ask you to stick around because we are going to ask you to come back to some of these questions. the military is ramping up a quick strike team. can the pentagon succeed at stopping a deadly virus? should the white house have tried this at the beginning? ♪ want to change the world?
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>> the u.s. military is already helping to fight ebola abroad. but asking the military to help here in the u.s. is something new and different. these are troops on the ground in a war against a deadly disease here at home. some question the risk of putting u.s. troops in the danger zone. >> michael, perhaps i can start with you. should we have had a pentagon quick strike team from the beginning? are there things that the military can do in response to this that the u.s. health care workers can not? >> certainly would have helped to have someone down there who knew what they were doing.
it seemed to me that the roll -- that some are too afraid but in that hospital they were not afraid of nothing. i think that disease, the doctor knows better than myself. it generates a huge amount of virus. i was reading a teaspoon full of blood has 500,000 bits of hiv but 50 billion bits of ebola. a huge amount of this stuff gets created. >> based on what we have learned so far in a place like dallas to this. >> >> that is what we have
really hoped this rapid strike force would do. running a hospital is a network of people who know each other. you have friends and connections of social work. you hoped they would come in and say are you doing everything right. it's more of an inspection and more checking. the military used to come under control. those are dangers of trying to take over. taking over a hospital in short notice, a very difficult thing to do. >> we have been talking a little bit about the fear on this program where the fear is getting ahead of the actual threat of the disease. i know you have a personal story related to that. i know your family made you promise that you would not go the hospital. >> let's talk a little about fear and what is reasonable and rational. so are all the eem who say that ebola is hard to get.
but it's also hard to get struck by lightning. i have a wife and an 11-year-old son. so i have been on cnn a couple of times from the last few times. a lovely room. and so when the arrangement was being made today, jennifer, the noo producer said we might be on the ground. i said yep, but i'm not going to the hospital. not because i have an active fear. as many of our brothers and sisters are experiencing, if there is anything we can do, to are reduce our risk as close to 0 as ponl we're going to do it. we will not have our fingers wagged at us. we have been very thoughtful in consuming this. the information as it has rolled out has been very suspect and politically tainted. i think that is getting better now. but, it's just an interesting time around here.
>> people may say out of an abundance of caution, i will take this step. you are seeing universities that are cancelling speakers. abundance of caution is one thing. panic is another this is something that you can't see. when it goes after you, i can understand why people were that afraid. but you have situations with a kid coming from nigeria and he was told he couldn't go to school here. stha stuff is just nuts.
i think you have to each person has to make decisions. you make a personal decision. >> i think you can take things on a case by case basis. i think the gentleman was just right. if you have a student, of course you let him in. you don't boycott the liberian market. there is no argument against a travel ban. >> let me ask you this.
>> you end up making yourself feel safe without actually doing anything safe. reducing the number of visas to zero does almost nothing to our risk. >> it gets to a point that we were just touching on. that is -- that becomes a real problem. >> it is not phobic or racist to say that from the actual global hot zone from liberia, from
guinea, we're not going to let people in. nobody is walking around saying that will take care of the risk. that will drop it to zero but it will drop it a little bit. let's not have any more mr. duncans. >> nigeria is not -- it is not the hot zone any more. it has -- it has eliminated its cases and it's past the windows. >> we're not talking about nigeria. >> it is not racist. >> it is zeen phobic and possibly racist if you're connecting this and panning someone from a country just because it happens to be in africa where there are no cases of the disease today. that's a real danger. >> the real -- >> i'm bringing it up because in fact, as one of the reactions to this disease in this country, a
child from nigeria was banned from his school. that's a real efkt. >> that's the travel ban is sensible and it should be done tomorrow. >> stay with us. we're onto an important question here. i'll ask you to lose more of your sunday to this conversation. we'll take a short break and be right back with more questions and more debate. tomorrows a reality for over 19 million people. [ alex ] transamerica helped provide a lifetime of retirement income. so i can focus on what matters most. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. transamerica. [ female announcer ] everyone has a moment when tomorrow becomes real. (receptionist) gunderman group is growing. getting in a groove. growth is gratifying. goal is to grow. gotta get greater growth.
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welcome back. we're joined again by our guests for a lightning round on what is a very controversial topic on how the country is responding to the ebola threat and is it taking steps that are perhaps unnecessary to respond to this disease. i'm going start with you, michael, since you are sitting next to me. are we reaching that stage? >> i think. i think the antidote for our panic is to think of courage of people addressing this disease close in here in america and out there. it's one world. if we want to protect ourselves, we have to help the people who are trying to stop the disease where it is. that's my thought. >> you said there's no argument against a travel ban. some of the healthcare professional it is responding to this disease say it would have a negative effect in getting people to the epicenter in africa to fight this disease. >> that's insane.
no one is restricting charter flights or military flights to there. we're speaking about bringi ini people in. i'll make everybody a deal. if they can stop scolding us for taking possible risk reductions, we promise not to pretend that this somehow solves the whole thing which is an impression we never had anyway. >> is a travel ban a sensible step to fight this disease? >> doing a risk benefit analysis and benefits are close to zero from other epidemics we know that travel bans don't work. we know that americans can industrial travel and other people will bring you home and costs are massive in terms of economics and in terms of the kind of conversations that are encouraging about africans in general. there's no question that it gives us the wrong idea and it makes us feel safe when we're not. we need to work in hospitals at home and we need to be funneling money and resources into west africa. >> there are consequences to the
ebola crisis. there are fears of instability as a result of this as you cut this part of the world off. >> let alone mining industries and we see the big manufacturers last week saying they'll start giving money to the international community or we'll run out because it comes from west africa because it is huge impacts beyond the spread of disease. >> thanks very much for sticking with us. a lot of very difficult questions as the u.s. struggles to handle this disease. we'll be right back with more of our ebola coverage here on cnn. what they get from alaska,
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you are in the "cnn newsroom." i'm jim sciutto. there's word that the u.s. military is mobilizing to join america's fight against ebola. a defense department official tells cnn that the pentagon is forming a 30-person quick strike team to treat ebola patients anywhe inside the united states on short notice. they will specialize in the use of protective equipment used by medical personnel putting it on and removing it crucially. the team will train to deploy within 72 hours when ordered over this coming nt